No matter which way you look at it, bullying sucks.
And it’s evolved from typical bullying in the schoolyard into ‘covert bullying’ – meaning it often occurs through social media (dem mean Facey trolls) and or even behind people’s backs… which doesn’t make it any less hurtful. Supre and Headspace have teamed up to help teens out there suffering from bullying by releasing a booklet on the issue (available from March 27).
Supre ambassador and Neighbours star Lilly Van Der Meer shares her top tips for dealing with the haters.
There’s a girl in your group who's nice to you when the other girls are around but mean to your face when it's just the two of you. What do you do in this situation?
"Confront the girl who is being mean to you. Kindly ask her why she is treating you differently when you're alone. Sometimes a simple solution can come out of having a chat and this girl might appreciate you being so up front.
If the issue isn't resolved by a conversation, consider telling the others in your group. They can support you and help figure out how to fix the issue.
If don’t feel comfortable talking to your group, consider how this girl is making you feel. Is it worth hanging out with her if she makes you feel bad about yourself? It’s important we surround ourselves with people that lift us up, not people that bring us down!"
Your bestie has confided in you that a popular girl from school has been spreading rumours about her, but she doesn't want to confront her for fear of being excluded. What do you do?
"Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that having one true friend is more important than being accepted by the 'popular girl' or the 'popular' group. Spreading rumours is a form of covert bullying; your friend has every right to put a stop to it. If she's fearful of being excluded, maybe it's better to not be part of the group anyway!
I would rather have a friend who supports me than a 'friend' who spreads rumours.
My advice? Confidently walk up to this girl and kindly ask her why she felt the need to spread the rumours. Remember she could be going through something in her life that makes her feel the need to act this way. Take it one step at a time."
A girl you know is leaving pretty nasty messages on all your Insta photos but you're not sure you want to make it a big deal. Do you address it? What do you do?
"First step, screenshot all the comments. It's a good idea to have them on file in case the girl denies she wrote them.
Next step is to privately message the girl and ask her why she's writing the comments, and express how they make you feel. Explain that if she doesn't stop the comments, matters will be taken further. This way you aren't publicly posting (causing drama) but you're still addressing the issue in a mature way.
I also highly recommend telling a person you trust, whether that's a friend, boyfriend, teacher, parent or adult. It's great to have their support. However you wish to approach the situation, just make sure you don't give up until the comments stop. You don't deserve or need those nasty comments. No one does."
If you or someone you know is struggling with bullying, visit headspace.org.au to find your local centre or contact eheadspace on 1800 650 890 or online.